(Born December 16, 1966) -- Western New York has produced some great basketball players over the years. Cliff Robinson certainly deserves to be in that class.
Robinson played high school basketball at Buffalo’s Riverside High. He averaged more than 20 points per game there, and that caught the attention of a promising young coach in the Big East Conference. Jim Calhoun thought Robinson could help at Connecticut.
The forward averaged more than 15 points per game for the Huskies, who developed one of the nation’s best programs in the years to come. Robinson won an NIT title while he was a junior at UConn.
Robinson went 36th overall in the 1989 NBA draft, as he was taken by Portland. It took him a few years to become a starter, but by 1994-95 he was averaging more than 20 points per game. Robinson left Portland in 1997, but had 10 more years ahead of him. He played for Phoenix, Detroit, Golden State and New Jersey.
Robinson left the game in 2007 as one of the NBA’s all-time leaders in games played. He was a 49-point game away from getting past 20,000 points in his career. Robinson was recently hired by the Pro Basketball Alumni Association.
--- Budd Bailey